I promised a contest! Be sure to leave a comment today, and you’ll be entered to win a free download of ANY of my Samhain or Ellora’s Cave ebooks! In the meantime, enjoy the excerpt. I had an amazing time writing Ravished by a Viking and it’s sequel (coming this Fall), Enslaved by a Viking. I hope you enjoy the excerpt, even though some of the aspects may feel unfamiliar because you haven’t been deep into the story and learned about the rich world I built. ~DD
“Clash of cultures, clash of myths, clash of powerful personalities…how many authors can bring out on paper the excitement and more-than-willing suspension of disbelief that old fashioned adventure stories once brought us?…a wonderful, action-packed, emotional roller-coaster of a read.”
Alien Places on RAVISHED BY A VIKING
What a Viking wants, a Viking takes.
When his younger brother goes missing, Dagr, Viking warrior and Lord of the Wolfskin Clan, will do whatever it takes to get him back. But nothing could have prepared him for Honora—a feisty, intelligent woman who is nothing like the women of his world—women who are content to serve their men in all things. Drawn to her despite her recalcitrant nature, Dagr is determined to show her who’s boss both in bed and out.
When the two enemies-turned-lovers join forces to find Dagr’s brother they are thrown into a rousing adventure full of danger, intrigue and erotic abandon. Can their passion truly unite them or will their different worlds lead to destruction for them both?
Just as his skiff crunched against the rough edge of the beach, Dagr jumped to the ground, then spun to see how the battle fared. What there was left of a battle, anyway. The action was mostly a retreat—an ignominious run for safety. He counted heads quickly, assuring himself that every one of the men who had accompanied him had made it.
Frakki ran to his side. “Shall we save the bastards?” he said, disgust flavoring his tone. He nodded toward the Consortium soldiers doomed to die if the Vikings didn’t mount a concerted rescue.
Odvarr loped toward him, his chest heaving, his face creased with worry. “Dagr, your woman!” he shouted, pointing toward the open waters.
A woman was on the ice! Dagr turned in time to see a slender figure pitch over the side of a skiff and slide on her belly perilously close to the edge. He didn’t bother asking what Honora was doing there, or, more precisely, what she was doing on the frozen water. He broke into a run, heading for the closest boat, Frakki on his heels.
They both swung up, Frakki taking the steering ropes, and Dagr balanced on his feet at the raised nose of the small craft. He cupped his hands around his mouth. “Stay still, Honora,” he shouted, although the wind, the hollow roars of the beasts, and the screams from the remaining soldiers drowned out his voice.
He ignored the slashes of laser light that pounded the ice around him, dared the soldiers sure to die a gruesome death to kill him because he wasn’t turning back. If the goddess Hel herself reached up from her frozen kingdom to drag him down, he’d fight her.
“Dagr . . .” Frakki said quietly, dread in his voice.
Beneath them, a dozen sea serpents, blue, green, and orange, swam, tracking them like prey, spiraling, shooting away for a few feet, then circling in closer.
One tapped beneath the hull of their small craft, and the ice groaned and crackled.
Behind them, came the scraping sound of more skiffs joining them on the ice. His men were skilled with the boats, often skimming just off shore. Just far enough to drill into the ice to fish, but close enough to the keep that the guard on the wallwalk could give them fair warning. None of his men were was as skilled as he at escaping the beasts because none dared travel the open seas.
Still they followed him, shouting and hitting the ice with the points of their pikes to draw the beasts away.
In the distance, Arikan’s men continued to fire, shredding the solid surface beneath their feet in their panic, drawing the creatures who banged their heads from below to crack the ice, then shoot upwards, mouths agape to catch the men before diving deep to devour them.
Dagr could worry about only one Consortium officer, who now lay on her belly on the ice, her face turned toward him, her eyes beseeching. That she was terrified was evident by the paleness of her skin and the roundness of her eyes. And by her silence. Honora was rarely silent.
When their skiff drew near, Frakki slowed only a fraction, just enough for Dagr to jump off the boat. He rolled, leapt to his feet, and ran for his woman, brandishing his sword and hoping that another of the boats was close enough to retrieve them once he had her before the dragons burst through the ice.
He prayed as never before—to Thor, who’d blessed his fathers’ sword. Prayed that just like Thor, who’d felled the giant Hrungnir with his mighty hammer, that his sword and his will would be enough to save the only person who’d ever made him feel complete, the woman who held the other half of his heart.
Honora lay flat on the ice, her head raised, watching Dagr draw near. As her muscles contracted with cold, relief and abject fear for him warred inside her.
He threw down his cloak, his furs, never slowing, running full out, his dark hair whipping behind him, his expression so fierce it took her breath away.
A loud thud sounded beneath her.
Honora couldn’t hold back a scream as the ice cracked and lifted, splintering into large pieces like a jagged puzzle. She scrambled for a handhold, sliding gloved fingers over one raw edge.
A serpent pushed up, its dark orange head lifting the shard-like section of ice she held tight to, pushing on one edge with the end of its nose and tilting her toward the water. With her arms stretched, her body swinging, she cast a glance toward Dagr, sure he would be the last thing she saw in this life.
Dagr was close, and not slowing, although the ice broke beneath his feet. He took one last step and leapt onto the serpent’s head, landing hard, and gripped his knees on either side of its wide skull.
Their gazes met for a moment, Dagr’s filled with love and regret. Then the beast pulled down its head, dislodging the icy shard she clung to, and sending it sliding across the ice, away from it and Dagr.
“No!” Honora screamed, watching in horror as the beast shook its head, trying to dislodge Dagr, but he held tight, the hand not holding his sword gripping horny spikes atop the beast’s saw-tooth brow.
The creature flung back its head one last time, and then tucked its head down, preparing to dive.
With a roar, Dagr let go of the spikes, turned his blade upside down, gripped the pommel in both hands, and plunged it downward, piercing the beast’s translucent blue eye.
The creature let out a loud, hollow squall, then crashed down his its head, slamming the ice and breaking it. Water closed over its head, submerging the beast and taking Dagr down with it.
Desolation clawed at her chest and Honora screamed again, shoving up to her feet and running to the edge of the ice to peer deep into the water, uncaring whether another beast burst from the water. Her heart was already lost in the cold, cold depths.
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